15:40 Sandown A fascinating handicap hurdle over 2m7f is probably the highlight of the day’s racing on Friday. Nicky Henderson sends his last time out winner Fly Camp who made all at Exeter and looks relatively progressive. The seven year old has been in the first two in each of its four starts under rules and will no doubt take another big hand here today, but the handicapper has hit it with a 5lb rise for that latest narrow success and so may be vulnerable to a better handicapped horse off top weight. David Pipe’s Shaama Grise is another who has a habit of making the frame, twice in France, and then she has followed that up with a victory at Chepstow in between two runner up efforts on her first three British starts. There may be more to come from her with Tom Scudamore up in the saddle today, but again the Handicapper is perhaps beginning to catch up to her and she is taking on this longer trip for the first time today. The safer option is in fact the Phillip Hobbs trained Kayf Adventure. The six-year-old won his bumper on heavy ground at Warwick by half the track back in March of 2015. There is no denying, however, that his third behind the impressive Cheltenham-bound Neon Wolf, is without doubt the best piece of form on offer today. That run came after a two year absence and he then stepped up on that effort to win comfortably over 2m5f at Fontwell last time out on Valentine’s Day so there looks to be plenty more to come from him, the step up in distance will help and he gets the confident nod to follow up today with champion jockey Richard Johnson in the saddle. KAYF ADVENTURE (WIN) – NAP
18:15 Newcastle A tricky looking handicap over 7f at Newcastle here, but a number of unexposed horses look to have decent chances. Sir Mark Prescott’s horses are always of note when stepping into handicap company for the first time and especially when stepping up in trip so his horse Scala Regia is definitely of interest given that he meets that criteria. Luke Morris is booked for the ride and he looks like he can take a hand here based on two placed efforts in maidens over 6f, but he will need to step up on those efforts now facing handicap company. James Tate is another who sends his horse here to face handicap opposition for the first time after moderate runs in maiden company. Much better run on reappearance where he wasn’t helped by the wide draw, but he is yet to prove this trip is his optimum. David Barron is a formidable trainer at the track and he looks to have sent another real live chance here tonight in African Grey. The horse stepped up on his maiden form to land an apprentice handicap last time out over course and distance in some style under today’s rider. He escaped a penalty for that victory and is actually in here off better terms because jockey Ben Robinson can now claim his full 7lbs as opposed to the 3lb claim when he won, so on these terms he gets the confident nod to follow up here tonight. AFRICAN GREY (WIN)
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